Categories: Bengal cat

Bengal Cat Coat

General

The Bengal cat coat is comprised of 2 areas, the background and the pattern on the background.

Superimposed on either one of two base colors (brown and Snow) are either spots or marbling (vernacular – “tapestry”). Either the spots or marbling is made up of a darker and lighter area. This is most noticeable in the donut (UK – “doughnut”) rosette (see chart).

Brown

This is the “Classic” color. Cats in this color are called “brown marbled tabby” if they have the marbling and “brown spotted tabby” if spotted.

The Brown Spotted Bengal is the most common and the closest to the Asian Leopard Cat in appearance. It is a warm colorful base coat.

There is a wide variation in base (ground) color. The degree of “rufinism” dictates a yellow, buff, tan, golden, or orange tone, which is preferred.

Note:

Rufinism means this: A degree of yellow/brown tint caused by the orange/yellow pigment . It refers to the ground color. The standard states rufinism is more desirable. Judges apparently, don’t follow this rule but quite often prefer it.

Then there is the matter of contrast between the overlaying pattern and the base color. Good contrast is favored as it is more striking. There should be a “a clear unticked pelt”.

Pelting usually goes hand in hand with Bengals that show sharp contrast in markings. If the markings are in good contrast to the base it is probable that the cat is ‘pelted’.

Here’s some pictures of coats, which tell us that there are a wide range of variations within each type.


arrow-head

donut

pawprint

arrowhead

donut

arrowhead

marble

marble
marble

donut

donut

donut

pawprint

pawprint

pawprint

pawprint

arrowhead

pawprint

donut

donut

donut

marble

marble

marble

arrowhead

Snow

Snow Bengal cat coats are Seal Lynx Points, Seal Minks and Seal Sepias. They are creamy white with the contrasting color pattern ranging in color from pewter to a rich nutmeg color. There are varying shades of cream, ivory or light tan as for Siamese, Burmese or Tonkinese cats.

Spots

The spots of the Bengal cat coat are arrow-heads, donut or paw-print “rosettes” with a lighter color surrounded by a darker outline (see photos). Or they could be described as having shaded lighter centers to dark spots. They are deep brown, chocolate, deeper brown to black on the brown background and gold, tan, pewter and seal brown on the snow background. If the spots are not black you would refer to the cat as a sorrel. Some breeders consider sorrel to be a either a deep orange ground color or a more intense tawney color.

When the rosettes are “chained together” it is called “mackereling” (meaning like the skin of a mackerel fish). The underparts are spotted on the white background.

Marble

As expected this pattern resembles marble or Boa snake’s pattern. A combination of swirls and rosettes flowing in a horizontal fashion. This is the effect of the introduction of the Tabby gene into the Bengal breeding program .There should be a horizontal, flowing feel to the alignment. Some breeders think that when moving the Bengal cat coat is a true work of living art.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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